NCFR Content Areas

Families and Individuals in Societal Contexts

Internal Dynamics of Families

Field Experience, Bethany Christian Services: 2-13-19

On Feb 13th, I was able to join the casework i moving a foster child from one foster home to another. We began by arriving at her foster home and collecting all of the child’s belongings and putting it her our vehicle. By the time we had her things packed, the 3-year-old little girl had become uneasy, and clearly upset. Since she had been in 12 homes before this one, there was little doubt in my mind that she knew what was about to take place. Watching the foster mom say goodbye to the little girl was heartbreaking, and very emotional for both foster mom and the child.  Although the foster mother no longer had the energy to care for her, it was clear that she had a strong connection with the child. We then placed the little girl in the car and drove her to her new foster home. As we unloaded her belongings from the car and moved inside, the child became extremely attached to the caseworker as we sat down and began to talk with the child’s new foster parents. After a half hour or so, the child became more relaxed, she started to talk with the families other two children and play with them as well as tier dog. The child had soon started attaching to her new foster mom and beginning to grow that relationship.

            I can only imagine the varying amounts of stress pain, and heart break that can come with having to say goodbye to a child you have in your care. Having the opportunity to observe how both the child and the foster parents acted and reacted was incredibly helpful and helped me to gain a better understanding as to what each family has to go through when accepting and giving up a foster child.

Field Experience, Bethany Christian Services: 3-13-19

            On the 13th of March, I joined my caseworker in attending a doctor’s appointment to see a dietician for one of the children on her caseload. The 11-yr. old’s biological mother and grandmother also attended the appointment. In this particular case, the biological mother had not seen her daughter in over 2 months, due to biological mother canceling parenting times. Upon arrival, it is not uncommon for the child and biological parent to hug and greet each other, so this has become a greet that I expect. However, the 11-year-old ran to her mother and gave her a hug, while her mother talked over her daughter’s hello, and immediately began speaking to the caseworker, as well as not reciprocating the hug. Since that appeared to be outside of the realm of normal, when given the opportunity, I asked the caseworker about those behaviors in private, and she explained to me that sometimes, it can be a way for parents to become less attached if they are fearing losing parental rights. Although it had not occurred to me before, it did make sense that to protect themselves mentally and emotionally they would begin to discourage deeper connection with their children. Being able to observe this first hand helped me gain a better understanding about how the interactions, and behaviors might change when a child is placed into foster care.

Crisis and Resiliency in the Family – Western Michigan University

Human Growth and Development across the Lifespan

Lifespan Development – Western Michigan University

Human Sexuality

Interpersonal Relationships

Field Experience, Bethany Christian Services: 2-27-19

On February 27th, I had the opportunity to facilitate and observe parenting time outside of Bethany Christian Services’ campus. Since I had never been to parenting time in public without a case worker to facilitate, I was nervous to be the professional taking the lead and directing how and when the parenting time started. We met at the Oshtemo library, in the kid’s area so the mother and grandmother could play with the toys the library had to provide. Although the biological had much more experience with what to expect from a parenting time in public, I found she still looked to me for cues as to what was supposed to happen. Being able to facilitate a parenting time on my own helped me build confidence in my ability to communicate with the parents we work with. Conducting the parenting time, also helped me to build the relationship I have with the parent/grandparent involved, rather than me observing while the caseworker managed the communicating aspect.

Family Resource Management

Parent Education and Guidance

Family Law and Public Policy

Field Experience, Bethany Christian Services: 2-14-19

On Thursday, the 14th of February, the caseworker I work alongside, had the continuation of a hearing that would decide if the parents in question would have their parental rights terminated. The first half of the hearing was held in January, but due to lack of time was rescheduled to finish on the 14th. Having the opportunity to view the continuation of the hearing provided me with more information on the NCFR Content Area #8: Family Law and Public Policy. For example, I had never though about the idea that the children would be appointed a Guardian Ad Litem to represent them in court and speak on behalf of their best interest. In addition to a GAL, there is an attorney who works along side of the caseworker, and gives opening and closing statement, and questions the witnesses. I learned that the case worker is typically a key witness due to be so closely involved with the details of the case, and also has relationships with the parents and children. Witnessing the court hearing itself helped me to gain a better understanding of how the process takes place, and who needs to be involved to make it happen.

Professional Ethics and Practice

Family Life Education Methodology